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‘From the Desk of a Millennial’

After receiving a new debit card the other day, I had to go through the process of updating my card information for the different services I use. Many of them being performed on mobile apps, I figured I would take the opportunity to see what the different experiences were like adding in card information on different applications.

It’s a no brainer that security should be the most important piece for any application that will hold personal information, especially banking credentials. Another important concept with any application is ease of use, including adding in a card. Here are some of the takeaways I got from going through the process of updating my payment info:

There needs to be an option to update the information on the mobile app

This seems like a no brainer, but I was surprised to find there was no way of updating my payment info on Spotfiy’s mobile app. Then when I went onto Spotify’s application on my laptop, again, there was no option for updating the information. I had to go onto their Web Player version and then go into my account from there. If a company has a mobile app and there is payment involved, there needs to be a way to update the information from my mobile device. The masses are using mobile more (especially millennials) and it’s inconvenient and annoying when they are required to leave their phones to pull out their laptops just to update.

I recently decided to try out the new PRIV from BlackBerry. Since the new phone runs on Android (the OS that I’m used to) and because I used to have a Curve, I figured the transition would be easy and it would be a fun phone to use. Here are my takeaways after using the new phone for a month:

The physical keyboard is cool but ultimately pointless

BlackBerry has always been famous for their awesome keyboards. On the PRIV, the keyboard slides out and can be used for not only typing, but scrolling within apps, moving within a text and deleting, all by gently swiping on the keys. I found the physical keyboard to be an easy way to text with minimal mistakes and less need to look at the phone but pointless. When I decide to answer with a bit of urgency or want to do something quickly, I resort to using the touch screen because it’s there right away and easier to do things quicker. Although the hard keyboard is fun and has lots of functions, I can’t see that piece of hardware really making any sort of comeback with touch out there.

At Enterprise Connect, I was on the lookout for technology that millennials in the workplace would find cool and useful. After visiting many booths and experiencing interesting demos, Polycom’s RealPresence Centro got me the most excited. Here are the reasons why millennials would love the Centro in the workplace:

Its design is different and has a ‘futuristic’ feel to it. With its four screen display (one screen on all four sides) and 360-degree camera, the Centro is state of the art. It’s new and innovative and something that has not been replicated in the video conferencing space.  Millennials like the “cool factor” and want to be working with the latest and greatest technology and will be comfortable with Centro.  

It’s super easy to use. The interface is simple and easy to learn. The monitors are touch screens with great picture quality. Projects can be easily shared for collaboration and mark ups during a call. The Centro makes collaboration a lot easier for the user, which will then make conference calls and meetings much more productive.

It’s fair to say that since our applications and devices get better, we expect our communication to become more instant. With that being said, we want our applications to have communication tools embedded in them so we don’t need to leave our applications to address our business. These tools can be the form of messaging, calling and of course, video.

As I mentioned in my last post, video proves to be very valuable in peer-to-peer situations of communicating with long distance friends, working on a group project or even annoying friends if you’re seeking attention. Video is also a valuable tool for business to consumer (B2C) applications.

For example, if I’m in my app for mobile banking and see something odd or unexplainable in my statement, I want to be able to talk to someone about the situation from the bank. The act of talking to someone should never force me to leave the banking application, but it often does.  I want to have the capabilities to call, message or video directly from the app and be connected. This makes the process of getting in contact and getting the help I need a whole lot easier, faster and overall, better than communicating in a different application.

As technology advances, the way we live and work continues to change.  Nowhere has this evolution been more pronounced than in the area of communications. We can text, call, email, direct message and chat through various social platforms, and of course, do a video call.

The area of video conferencing is very interesting for millennials. Contrary to the opinion of the older generation we don’t live on video but we do use it when necessary.  It’s not the norm or a even a de facto communications tool but it’s certainly part of our toolkit. One of the things I hear over and over is that millennials don’t like to engage each other face to face. Millennials actually love face-to-face communications.  When we use electronic communications, we prefer short tools such as pictures or texts with short videos that disappear like Snapchat has perfected.

These types of messaging tools offer the “best of both worlds”.  It’s like having a face-to-face interaction broken up into sessions of 10 seconds or less.  I know the older generation has trouble understanding the value of this but we find it ideal for both leisure and flexibility. Our preferred method of communicating is texting because we feel comfortable responding when we have the time to respond. With instant messaging platforms like Facebook or Skype, the need to be present for the conversation is more of a commitment and is not ideal as it requires constant attention.

Even though we don’t use video calls as a normal form of day-to-day communication, we do have use cases for it. Here are a few:

Working everyday in a cubicle is awful; everyday is spent in the same location, in the same seat and with the same view of the same fabric walls. For a millennial, it’s normal to have an attention span shorter than a goldfish (which is actually true). With such a lack of attention already, staying in the same spot and experiencing the same things everyday brings us to exhaustion, irritation, a lack of motivation and disengagement.

A workspace designed for millennials should be dynamic. We want to come into the office, know we have different options for where to work and pick where we do so, based on what we are feeling that day and the type of work we need to accomplish. If I have some individual tasks to do, I want to be able to be tucked away in a quiet spot with my focus on work. If I’m feeling the need for companionship and collaboration, I want to be able to sit in an open area with others who are maybe feeling the same way. Having the freedom to choose where to sit and how you work makes for a very comfortable and productive day.

Recently, I visited Red Thread a Boston, MA based company that specializes in building a wide variety of workspaces. Through research based innovation, Red Thread excels in making dynamic workspaces that enables millennials to work how they want, when they want. They have built the workspace of the future, today.

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